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torah commentary
Communal living a suprarational command
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 Is it more important to devote oneself to personal, spiritual develop­ment or to work for the good of the nation? I believe that a good argument can be made that co...
Jul 13, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
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The importance of memory, especially to our history
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend
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When the minority gets it right
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power — and importance — of words
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Look into the eyes
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
A new twist to blotting out Amalek
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David, Monroeville
Aug 15, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 161 161 recommendations | email to a friend
Ki Tetze, Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19 You wouldn’t know it from the start, but Ki Tetze is one of those special portions. We arrive at it once as part of the Torah reading cycle and we roll to it once ...
Strong roots lead to a sound future
by Cantor Richard M. Berlin, Parkway Jewish Center
Aug 08, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 163 163 recommendations | email to a friend
Shoftim , Deuteronomy 16:18-21:19 Within Parshat Shoftim (Judges), it says: When in your war against a city you have to besiege it a long time in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees...
Why would God care what we eat?
by Rabbi Joe Hample Congregation Tree of Life, Morgantown, W.Va.
Jul 31, 2013 | 2 2 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
Re-eh, Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17 When I was young, you were supposed to eat what was put in front of you.  Now, everyone has special food requirements for reasons of health, politics, religion or an ...
Abundance — blessing or curse?
by Rabbi James A. Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 25, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 166 166 recommendations | email to a friend
Ekev, Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 This week’s portion, Ekev, is beloved for highlighting our connection to the land of Israel.  We learn of the seven species native to the land in Deuteronomy 8.9:  whea...
For the love of God
by Rabbi Mark Joel Mahler, Temple Emanuel of South Hills
Jul 18, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
Va-etchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11 “Then God Eternal fashioned the man — dust from the soil — and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so that man became a living being.” — (Genesis 2:7) ...
The ox and the donkey
by Rabbi Eli Seidman, Jewish Association on Aging
Jul 11, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 164 164 recommendations | email to a friend
Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 An ox knows its owner, and a donkey knows its master’s crib. But Israel does not know; my people does not consider. — Isaiah 1:3   On the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av, th...
Stroll down Memory Lane
by Rabbi Amy Hertz
Jul 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2-36:13 This week’s Torah portion brings the Book of Numbers, and in many ways the narrative of the Torah, to a close.  With the end of B’midbar, our people’s journey in the...
A just reward?
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 175 175 recommendations | email to a friend
Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1 At the beginning of this week’s parsha, we read that Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas, is rewarded for his zealousness on God’s behalf with the reward that the priesthood will ...
Lessons learned from Balaam … and camping
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron, Jewish Community Center
Jun 20, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend
Balak, Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, Balak, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, though, only blessings come out of his mo...
‘A woman’s work is never done’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 187 187 recommendations | email to a friend
Hukkat, Numbers 19:1-22:1 At first glance it seems so unfair. In this week’s parsha, Moses loses both his brother and his sister before preparing for his own death. Yet the accounts of their passin...